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serenasyh

why not try organics...

serenasyh
12 years ago

Hey, everyone. I hope I'm not out-of-place to sort of wonder why there is so much high potency chemicals out here being used... I have been very happy with my organic fungicides (i.e. Greencure)My roses are pristine from the BS, mildew, etc... so I was just curious why there aren't more people using them. Now I do admit that there needs to be very, very careful research... Not all organics are benign... so-called organic neem oil is a notorious bee killer and spinosade is toxic for the minumum of 3 hours to bees. Plus organics may require more frequent application-- homemade onion, garlic, and hot pepper spray has to be constantly be re-applied or you have to import ladybugs, praying mantis eggs etc., but why not try these alternatives... I was just wondering that's all... Many of you have very large gardens/yards which the beneficial insects would thrive at... My yard is too small and I'm surrounded by neighbors who use the toxic stuff so any beneficial insects I import would be killed off. To me if one starts out with all these toxic things, it really hurts the environment in the long run. (for example, I have yelled at my lawn company because they used grub killer without my permission and it ended up killing birds at my house and it made my dog sick for an entire month). Dogs especially my frisbee catching dog will eventually get cancer from these poisons in my opinion. Chemical rose spray can get into your! lungs as well...

Anyway, these are my thoughts. Just hope someone out there, especially newbie rose gardeners can give organics a try...Being new to roses is actually the best condition of all, because it's actually starting with a clean slate. Same goes for new rose plants because their systems aren't hardened with all the toxins and thus "take" to the organics right away...For everyone else it takes maybe a year to get it all back under organic control, but I think it's so worth it... Perhaps was this the reason why some of you have not done the organics, because of the waiting time?

Please share here if you've had frustrations, because I think it's very important to have open discussions about some of these issues...It's also important to try to brainstorm alternate routes...I can also re-open some of that discussion to the organics forum to get their thoughts to bring back here...

Comments (41)

  • buford
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    My main frustration is people who equate fungicides with insecticides.

  • newyorkrita
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    When I first wanted to get roses I looked for only the strong hardy "landscape" types because I had done so much planting to attract butterflys, bees, hummingbirds and backyard songbirds. There was no way I would ever spray things to harm them. I thought ALL rose sprays were both fungicides and insecticides. I had no idea one could buy products and spray fingicides only. Once I did learn that I had only to use the fungicides and keep my roses healthy and my yard friendly to wildlife, I started adding all sorts of roses and never looked back.

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  • sunnishine
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    most of us on here only use insecticides when they have too, but they do use fungicides for blackspot. Hence bufords post.

  • Zyperiris
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Ser, I am with you girlfriend.

    Many fungicides kill wildlife as well.

    In recent years I have attended many rose lectures and to a person..they had all gone organic with roses. They all said it takes a few years to get one's soil correct..and if you are careful with your rose choices you should be able to be mostly organic. When I say organic..I don't so much care if something is man made or nature made. As many have pointed out..just because it is a natural product does not mean it's not dangerous. Mushrooms for example. What I care about are bees. I care about letting nature take it's course.

  • eeekk
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm a new rose grower (going on two months now!) and would be happy to give organics a try. How about some tips and/or products you can recommend?

  • buford
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yes fungicides kill wildlife. If you consider fungi wildlife. If you spray fungicide on roses it kills fungi on roses. I have plenty of fungi other places in my yard and I don't spray my entire yard, just my roses.

  • greenhaven
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    snrose, a couple of the key concepts of organic rose-growing are: 1) Growing naturally hardy and resistant varieties that can withstand disease and insect pressure without help from your sprayer; 2) getting and keeping your soil healthy, for healthy soil creates healthy plants and plant immune systems. Using organic rather than chemical fertilizers feed your soil and build beneficial microbes that feed your plants and help them maximize nutrient uptake.

  • diane_nj 6b/7a
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    They are all chemicals. Some are naturally occuring, some are synthetic, but all are chemical. Not all natural products are safe.

    I want to grow hybrid teas and I exhibit. "Organic" fungicides do not work here on blackspot. I am not ready to replace my plants with all disease resistant varieties (and I do grow a few). I may some day, but not today.

    Also, I have rose midge. Although I have not tried barrier methods, only preventive applications of insecticides a couple of times a year has gotten rid of the midge. I rarely spray an insecticide for Japanese beetles. I don't do anything about aphids, there are usually not enough to bother me.

    I put down manure and compost and use a wood (cedar) mulch that breaks down over time. I use fertilizers with organic materials. I have a (small) compost bin.

    I support anyone who wants to go "no spray". However, expectations must be set early. In this area, it means no hybrid teas, dealing with some powdery mildew (but milk or baking soda will take care of PM), dealing with insect damage, maybe dealing with a little blackspot or anthracnose, but knowing that a little spotting does not always mean defoliation. I still support those who do not want to use commercial pesticides and do whatever I can to help find natural solutions if I am told that a person does not want to use a commercial pesticide.

    Oh, I have plenty of bees and butterflies. And a hummingbird or two.

  • serenasyh
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi, Snrose. I think that Greencure is a really, really good fungicide for me but be sure to get a head start on this!! spray as soon as the leaves come out... And there are those in Blackspot Territory who will have to really really spray very! frequently with this organic fungicide when they have wet, rainy weather, but I truly believe Greencure is a very viable alternative. I grow all hybrid teas and have had pristine plants (no BS or PM, etc). Serenade (organics) is also extremely popular for insects/fungicides and is far more ideal than Spinosad and doesn't hurt the bees or beneficial insects from further reading/research that I've done. However it does linger in the soil. If I had super bad problems with insects I would have done a test try with the Serenade. Serenade is so popular at my local nursery that it is constantly sold out. so Diane and Buford, the fact that it is so popular there must be a reason for this... Somthing must be working in that Serenade... So far my roses do quite well with just commercial hot wax pepper spray (cuts down insects by 70% but I hear that the homemade recipe is even better! than the commercial)... Again, my situation is not like Diane's exhibition roses; since I don't exhibit, it's acceptable for me to live with holes here and there...But I have plenty of good, untouched leaves so I am happy and satisfied... However! it's Rita's garden that is to "die for" exhibition-like and just look at the health of her hybrid teas... (if you look at the Rose Gallery) and she is able to not use insecticides... Serenade seems to be the #1 choice for people who want a pristine organic garden...but I am hoping to eventually have healthy enough soil and beneficial insects that I won't need Serenade either.

    Diane and Rita have any of you tried Greencure? That organic fungicide has kept my roses pristine...Diane, you say none of the organics fungicides have worked for you. So go ahead and name the ones that didn't so that way organics people won't waste their money. For example I tried GreenLight as an organics insect repellent and that was a waste of money. Bonide Hot Wax Pepper spray was so much better!

    As for fertilizers I'd really, really recommend Garden-ville sea tea... (mixture of fish emulsion and compost tea) I can guarantee your roses will go crazy over that stuff... Every single one of my roses really flourish with tons of blossoms, encourages basal breaks, new stems, saves from transplant shock, the whole works... Another popular sea tea is Alaskan Fish Emulsion, but I just love my Garden-ville Sea Tea. I can't imagine any liquid fertilizer better than this.

    Diane's and Karl's manure methods really work too, but I am choosing to wait until November and/or February to do this since my mulch has already been set... For me, I depend on my Garden-ville sea tea to nourish my roses... and my monthly Rose Tone (an organic fertilizer that is also very popular even amongst non-organics people).

  • buford
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I use the Bayer Advanced because I only have to spray once every two weeks. Not every week or more frequently if the pressure is high as I would with organic products. I can apply it one hour before it rains and it will still be effective. I don't eat my roses, so I don't have to worry about that aspect of it. If I had a vegetable garden, I would use something for edible plants. It is not a insecticide and there isn't any evidence that it's harmful to bees.

    Everybody's conditions are different. People in California don't get blackspot but get rust. If I lived in an area where blackspot wasn't as strong, perhaps I wouldn't spray at all or use something else. But right now I don't.

  • veilchen
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Many of us use non-organic chemicals because we have tried countless organic ones and none of them work. Every year there are several new, expensive products for sale at the nurseries claiming to finally be an organic cure-all for (fill in the blank). The nursery staff only goes by the vendor's claims, but in reality no one knows if the product works at all. Especially in the past few years there have been many organic and "green" products on the shelves because those are the hot marketing terms of late.

    I think most of us use the sensible approach with insecticides and even fungicides, like IPM. We start out using/doing the least harmful efforts, and only when those don't work do we move up to stronger chemicals.

  • Cindy Ehrenreich
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We are trying Green Cure this year after years of chemicals and we are covered with BS. It's been a miserable Spring, very damp and hardly any sun. We have a garden that we're very proud of, open to tours and the general public so we can't get rid of our HT's, so we are at a loss as to what to do. Do we go back to chemicals or tough it out with the Green Cure and hope the weather gets better.

    One thing we've learn this season is what roses will not get BS at all. Lagerfeld, Pretty Lady, Wild Blue Yonder and some others are absolutely spotless.

  • diane_nj 6b/7a
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have not tried GreenCure. I have reports from other growers in the area who have used similar products that were not effective. I just read the label and "every 1 to 2 weeks" does not work for me. Every 2 - 3 weeks is my preference. If someone who lives in eastern NJ has tried it on hybrid teas and it works, then I'm willing to consider. I do know someone who is going to try Serenade, but has not yet.

    And a friend manages two no-spray public gardens that our rose society uses as examples for those who do not want to use fungicides at all. For those who want to be "organic", I recommend varieties that require NO fungicide. I don't want to recommend hybrid teas and a fungicide that won't be effective, that is counter productive to my goal to encourage people to grow roses.

  • anntn6b
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Because "one size fits all" doesn't work in roses.
    It doesn't work for all classes of roses and it doesn't work the same in all parts of the country.

    There are many strains of Black Spot, Powdery Mildew and (probably) Downey Mildew out there. It takes vigilence to try to control a dynamic system and sometimes organics can't control the diseases our roses get.
    The mention of Rose Midge above...if you don't know what it is, it's worth your time to goggle it.
    Chili thrips..another scourge that can't be knocked down by organics.

    The other reason to "not" is the temperatures of efficacy. There are some states with areas where the temperatures don't get warm enough in summer for the organics to break down and do any good that summer; likewise, getting roses off to a vibrant and healthy growth in spring is important and finding the right fertilizers to do that isn't straightforward.

    There are no easy answers. But my own style has evolved to more organics, but I hope never to have to rely solely on organics.
    I didn't try organics because a stranger told me to. I studied and did some experimenting in my garden and found out that way what works for me.

  • gagnon98
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hello, just wanted to leave my two cents. I am relatively new to rose growing. I, too, always want to try an organic solution to gardening when possible. This is going to be a little lame because I don't have the website but last week I read a research article comparing chemical vs organic insecticides and fungicides. This PhD in Horticulture guy in Minnesota conducted a study (although not the most complete study) and found that at the concentrations used, many chemical fungicides and insecticides were actually less harmful to the environment than some certified organic means, based on some "environmental impact quotient" numbers. Perhaps some of you know of this study or have seen it. But it can be googled.

    I still agree with organic means and this is not an argument for chemical -cides but rather an alternate way to look at this issue. Obviously this is not new b/c everyone who uses chemical -cides probably already know this.

    Thanks.

  • newyorkrita
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    serenasyh- You say your roses have no deseases. I am interested in knowing how many roses you currently have and how long you have had them. Also, I don't know how much humidity you have there in the summer as lots of humidity as we have all along the Atlantic Seaboard States, certainly makes a big difference in desease pressure.

    I thank you for the compliment but my garden is hardly pristine. The roses live with any insect damage that happens. This spring we had tons of aphids on all the roses but eventually the lady bugs, rain and birds managed to get rid of them. I do not exhibit roses and they are only garden flowers for me, much like many other things I grow here just to look pretty. I really don't have that many HTs preferring floribundas and shrub roses but I do have some. The only things I spray for to control are fungus as mostly black spot is a big problem here and a total disaster if one does not spray.

    I have not tried Seranade nor GreenCure and I am not going to try them and quit spraying fungicides. We usually have humid summers here on Long Island but this year we have had a spring were it has never gotten at all hot and the rain seems never to stop. Some of my lilies and many of my roses are showing the signs of Botrytis fungus, which is not usually a problem in the garden. But this year, really bad and since the rain is not going away it does not seem it will go away soon.

    I have about two hundred roses and since I recently went on a buying spree will have at least 30 more. I am not interested in picking desease resistant varieties and trying to live with a percentage of blackspot. I do remove roses if they turn out to be absolute blackspot magnets but that had rarely happened for me. I also use a every two weeks spray schedule and have no time to spray really really often as I think you are saying needs to be done. This year it is so wet that I am going to have to move the spray schedule up to keep them clean as every two weeks is not holding the blackspot completely away as it usually does. Part of my problem might be that I started spraying late, only in May which is two months too late to start in order to keep problems completely away.

    I am glad to hear that what you are doing is sucessful for you. It would not be successful for me, different gardens with different climates and problems.

  • lucretia1
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    IMO, if something has to be sprayed more than about once a season, it's not going in my yard. Not only for the effects of the sprays on the environment, but for their effects on the person doing the spraying. Even if you're very careful, there's probably going to be some exposure to sprays unless you get commercial-grade protective gear. Liver disease brought on by chemical exposure is not a pretty way to go.

    On a lighter note, if you have to work that hard to make a plant look good, it stops being fun. Why not investigate plants that will grow in your area without all the spray? Work with nature instead of against it, and you'll be surprised at what you can grow--and how much fun it can be.

    The trick is finding what performs in your area--and you might not be able to find it at your local nursery.

    Then you have more time to stroll around, sipping your favorite beverage and enjoying your plants, rather than running out to buy another round of spray.

  • buford
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    lucretia, to expand on what you and gagnon said, In addtion to what I'm spraying, I want to be careful in how much I am spraying. If you have to use twice as much of anything, I'm not sure that's a safety advantage.

    And I'm not super picky about how my roses look. They at times look pretty ragged after late frosts, too much rain, not enough rain, too hot, too windy, etc. But I do want them to be healthy and bloom as much as possible, so that's why I spray. Because it makes for a healthier rose plant which equals more blooms. I have some roses that did not bloom without being sprayed.

    I will say that as far as fertilizers go, I have gone completely organic using alfalfa, fish meal, cottonseed meal, and making my own compost. But you know, I did have to wear a mask when applying the alfalfa powder mixture. Lord knows what would happen if I breathed in too much of that stuff and it's very dusty. But I can see the difference in my soil. I don't think using a chemical fungicide has any affect on the soil.

  • diane_nj 6b/7a
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    dollsandroses, to Ann's point, Lagerfeld is among the first to get and defoliate from blackspot here.

  • mori1
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I live in BS country. It doesn't matter if the rose is bs resistant, its going to get bs in my area. Its worse this year due to the large amount of rain and I was late to get started on spraying. I'm still trying to find a fungicide that works for me. I've been working on improving the soil over the last couple of years and trying to use nature to control my bug problem. I do use an bioinsecticide only when I need too because it is toxic to bees. I now spray in the evening because I have had an increase in bees to my yard. I refuse to use any grub control product because I discover that it can kill fireflies. Two years ago, I used the last of my chemical fertilizers and went organic. Worm castings and organics that work well with my clay soil. Right now I'm trying Nature's Creation but will probably have to switch because its getting harder to find. Can't tell if its really having much effective on my roses but its doing a great job on my hydrangeas and mums.

  • texaslynn
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I don't believe that it's a matter of trying organics....I think it's a matter of DEGREE of organicicity (yes, I made that word up!). How "organic" are you? 10% 50% 100%? If you use "organic" products 75% of the time - do you qualify as "organic" ? (not talking about a legal term or definition here)

    I do believe that most gardeners are trying to incorporate the use of organic stuff on their plants or in their soil, whether it is fertilizers or fungicides or whatever. It is only recently that these products have become widely available in the mainstream stores and nurseries and most of us are probably using a combination of organics and non-organics. Although there are some people who are completely 100% organic in their practices, I suspect that the majority of successful rosarians use, to SOME degree, organics - even if it's just fertilizers and soil builders.

    Lynn

  • serenasyh
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Everyone, I still think organics is really the ideal... The reason why I say this is because of my neighborhood... the sick birds, the sparsity of variety of birds, no cardinals! The lack of honeybees and bumblebees. To me proof is in the pudding...

    Years ago we were warned about global warming. It takes firsthand experience to see that this is not some scientific treehugging fanatic warning about this... Two years ago, my brother treated the entire family to a Seven Seas cruise to Alaska, and I was horrified to see how diminished the glaciers were... how much they had melted away. My eyes do not lie... It takes firsthand to experience that see that something is very wrong...

    Lawn companies will lie, lie, lie to promote their products... saying theirs is harmless... But a sick dog does not lie...

    Gagnon, I would urge you to find that article when you have the time... I googled and googled but couldn't find anything... It is important to get information out to have a good debate going on and an exchange of views. Can you please search again for us?

    As Lucretia says, "exposure to sprays unless you get commercial-grade protective gear. Liver disease brought on by chemical exposure is not a pretty way to go" For women too, it's the question, o.k. if I were going to be pregnant would I be going around spraying my specific chemical brand? If you hesitate, then just maybe it's a little food for thought... Whenever I use my organics, I have no problems were I to get pg...I can have peace-of-mind whereas I'd go haywire if I were PG and someone were to constantly use paint thinner and spray paints on their house projects every single week from April until September nearby while I was out in my garden next to them ... (sorry but I did have to put in a bit of humor to laugh at myself).

    My Dad is a biochemist at a major hospital in Kansas City, my Dr. brother graduated from Harvard Medical School so I do believe in doing the careful research. But I am not a scientist and therefore want to get as much reading as possible... For those of us who have extra roses to spare maybe do a test group, let's say one with GreenCure, and one with the chemical fungicide... Just for experimental sake...Again, be sure that the GreenCure is used at the very beginning of the season not when your roses already have the disease...DollsandRoses can you tell me if you had done the GreenCure when the very first leaves opened up? (like in March, etc) If you started when the very first leaves appeared on your plant they should have been pristine... With organics you have to start your application as soon as you see that baby leaf and the application has to be every week and more for rains... As Buford wrote, and I do admit, the weakness of organics is the frequency of application needed. For Greencure, it says not to store the extra liquid solution, but I have found that any remainder that is left in my spray bottle has not lost any effectiveness whatsoever, so I have been able to save on expenses that way. Plus my $15.99 powder I haven't even used 1/100th of yet and it's already 3 mos. down. Granted as Rita points out I have such a small number of roses, no 50-200 roses. But all the roses I have are indeed hybrids.

    So if anyone has articles so we can view for ourselves, please field them over...Also DollsandRoses, I do want to encourage you and apologize for my dumb-butt ways, because unlike you I don't have exhibition roses to worry about and because it is so tough to stay organic especially if you're in Blackspot, mildew weather... The frequency in which you apply can be maddening, but next year your roses will eventually adapt. Iris has attended the lectures, etc. whereas for me organics is great for newer and newbie gardeners because we're starting with a clean slate in which we don't have resistance-buildup and our roses respond very easily and immediately... Try visiting the organics forum to gain some support too...

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I love roses, especially the antique roses, but would give up every one of them if it meant using chemicals. I water, mulch and use alfalfa meal for fertilizer. That's it. I'm fortunate that I don't have blackspot, although mildew and rust have made an appearance this year. The mildew I'm ignoring and on roses with rust I removed all the infected leaves. Global warming is a reality, fungicides and insecticides are harmful to the environment and the last hundred years of using harmful products have had an impact that no one with eyes to see can deny. If you have children and/or pets, they would seem to be a lot more precious than any one variety of rose that you must have. There are always alternatives. I love seeing all the insects and wildlife on my property, and I don't want to take a chance on harming any one of them. I just don't have that right. (Okay, I'm making an exception for flies, grasshoppers and aphids, but those I just murder by hand. Very satisfying.)

    I know this is a topic that will never be resolved. All we can do is voice our thoughts and hope that it will echo in someone's mind. If not, I'm doing my part and that's all anyone can do.

    Ingrid

  • buford
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    serena, I use fungicide. I have plenty of bees and birds in my yard. fungicide does not do anything to bees or other insects or birds. You are over simplifying everything. Perhaps your yard is not a good habitat for birds or insects despite using organics? That is not the only factor. It's what plants you have, host and nectar plants for insects and butterflies and birds. I have my lawn treated for weeds and fertilized, but again, no insecticide.

    I'm glad you like organics and they are working for you. But you do not have all the answers. You say the proof is in the pudding, well I invite you at anytime to come to my yard and observe the # of birds that we have, including nesting birds that return year after year.

  • serenasyh
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Buford, I have a new home, a completely new garden and new organics so I am as you say not the expert... But there are plenty others, Karl, for example who are able to maintain very healthy thriving organic gardens... I live in a neighborhood in which I can't find any honeybees, bumblebees and cardinals... In my neighborhood they spray the be-jeebers out of everything to have "flat grass lawns" everything perfectly "man-icured"... Our neighborhood has tons of knockout roses everywhere! Do I ever see any honeybees or bumblebees around them, no not a glimpse! My neighborhood is "proof-of-the-pudding"...

  • anntn6b
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You've just said "But all the roses I have are indeed hybrids. " Did you know that all roses except species roses are hybrids? That not all hybrids are from the same gene pool? ?

    You did write "because we're starting with a clean slate in which we don't have resistance-buildup and our roses respond very easily and immediat".
    A gardener who tends the historic vegetable gardens at Williamsburg has a different take, based on some thirty years of growing heirloom plants and lots of reading. He said, in a talk recently, that the garden plants came here and it took a century or two for their pests to follow.
    I fear that your garden will be welcoming any and all pests. I know that happened when I bought a house in Houston in a brand new subdivision and didn't need to spray my roses the first year. The second year, the pests found the roses.

    You might want to read up on Rose Rosette Disease; it's lethal and it's well established in Kansas. Just so you know.

  • buford
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    My neighborhood sounds a lot like yours. Typical suburban with lawns and manicured shrubs. But we have plenty of birds and butterflies. Maybe you need to get a book on attracting wildlife and bees. I don't think chemicals are the problem. For instance, do you have any bird feeders? Are their roaming cats around that keep the birds away? Are there mature trees yet for the birds to nest in? Are there any flowering plants besides roses? Honey bees don't really go to roses. You'd be better off planting some plants that birds and bees like. That would be a good start. And put up a bird feeder.

    BTW, I didn't have blackspot the first year I had roses. But then it found them. It's subject to weather conditions among other things. So just because you don't have it yet, doesn't mean it will not be there eventually.

  • serenasyh
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Ann, sorry I meant hybrid teas not hybrids, I just accidentally forgot to type in the teas after the hybrid and got somewhat dyslexic.

    Buford, whenever I take Eluane, my little Border Collie, for a walk, we pass by plenty of birdfeeders that have been set out but no presence of cardinals, sparrows, yellow-finches, just the 85% of blackbirds squawkin' away and maybe just a spare dove or robin... My neighborhood is filled with meadow sage, trumpet flowers, catmint, and all the other honeybee attracting flowers but no honeybees... The popular lawn company that used grub killer without my permission on my lawn is used by tons of residences in my neighborhood; that grub killer killed birds at my house and made my dog sick for an entire month... so I put 2 and 2 together that these chemicals are bad news. Likewise, when I lived in a beautifully landscaped apartment complex the year before, that apartment complex sprayed and it was filled with gorgeous crabapples, winterberries, ornamental flowering plums, but never did I see any cardinals, butterflies, honeybees or bumblebees... And I have many wonderful memories of Eluane playing amongst those flowers, she was so cute, so precious, a tiny puppy back then...It was not until early June that my first bumblebee came to visit! I was so thrilled and happy...

    I still believe that organics can really work... I always think of role models/rosarians like Karl who have done organics for years... Their roses are thriving...and I hope that my garden will be blessed with healthy roses and! that Mr. Bumblebee will remember me next year and will actually come to make my garden his home. What happiness that would be! a peace of heaven in my mind... I do too hope that next year we will have more and more people talking organics in their growing season too so that we can trade more information, articles, etc., keep the discussion going... sometimes it's breaking out of what we're used to doing and taking the risks and enjoying the "tiny miracles" we discover along the way... Yes, we may throw a fit to have those pesky bugs feasting, and I too have written a post titled "vengeance on my mind" LOL! in aggravation, but then I still have beautiful blooms, my roses are still vigorous and happy and well-fed in spite of the holes here and there, and best of all I have my Beloved Bumblebee.

  • Cindy Ehrenreich
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Serena, my husband started using Green Cure at the beginning of April, which is when roses start to leaf out in this area. He sprays religiously every week. I have a feeling that it would have worked if this had been a normal spring, but we've had so not rain this month and hardly any sun. We are just getting discouraged. we have over 500 roses and I'd say 70% of them have BS. We have 3 garden clubs coming to tour our garden this week and I'm embarrassed by the way the garden looks. We're having a photographer from a local newspaper come by soon and we don't know what to do. My husband is debating doing an emergency spraying of Bayer & Mancozeb just till we can get this under control.

  • anntn6b
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    From one of Kansas' neighbor states, there was a desire for a cheap method to kill Rosa multiflora.
    Two professors at Iowa State began a study and concluded that RRD could kill multiflora on farmers fields in the southern tiers of counties in Iowa with only a slight chance of damaging cultivated roses.

    They were very active in the International Bioherbicide Working Groups, and much of their early reporting of success is available via Google searches. Their names are Epstein, A. and Hill, J. Their solution is 100% organic.

  • Zyperiris
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I agree with Texaslynn. I think what has changed in America now is that I believe there is more awareness of what one is using. I remember in the 70'ies my neighbor bragging that he used strong chemicals to kill bugs and a spider walked into his garage and died..In those days it was like all bugs were bad and needed to die. My own mother was terrified of bugs. I remember being terrified of June beetles that got in my friends pool. We would not get back in the pool till someone got the bug out.

    I was working to restore my MILS rose garden and I fought a battle with blackspot on her old Queen Elizabeth rose..Even with chemicals I don't think I ever got rid of the BS. The soil was bad however, and I kept working the soil. We moved so I don't know what happened.

    I guess the question one has to ask themself if a chemical is really needed at this time in the garden..or can you do without it? Always being aware that you could kill something in the garden and possibly make yourself or your pets sick.

  • buford
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Anything, whether 'chemical' or 'organic' can be good or bad depending on how they are used. My frustration is the lumping in of all 'chemicals' as bad and anything organic as good and safe. That is certainly not the case.

    And fungicides are not insecticides. To talk about using grub killer in a lawn and equating that with using a fungicide does not help the argument against chemicals. I applaud anyone who has made the decision to use all organic material in their garden if that's what they want to do. I do object to someone expecting everyone to do it and judging them for not doing it. 'Chemicals' can be used safely and responsibly and fungicides do not kill bees or birds or cause dogs to get sick, if used responsibly.

    The truth is that for most of us, the organic treatments for blackspot are not going to work or be as effective as a chemical fungicide.

  • diane_nj 6b/7a
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm tired of the "we're great/you're bad" back and forth here and on the "Organic Rose Growing" forum. I appreciate those who have provided useful information on this thread, thank you.

    Grow roses that don't require a fungicide and get used to the bugs. Then you don't have to argue on whether a natural or synthetic product is better 'cause you're not using any pesticides at all.

    And THEY ARE ALL CHEMICALS. Out.

  • michaelg
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "And THEY ARE ALL CHEMICALS. Out."

    I think it would reduce the friction a bit if people would watch their terminology. Obviously Green Cure is a chemical (potassium bicarbonate). Soap, baking soda, baking powder, bleach, vinegar, and medicines are chemicals. Bleach is a highly toxic chemical. Organic gardeners avoid the use of synthetic chemicals in the garden, and that's a reasonable position to take. The thinking is that bioactive synthetic chemicals could pose risks that aren't known because evaluators may not be asking the right questions. However, testing is much more thorough today than in the era of DDT.

    Another term that may cause irritation is "toxic chemicals." The Bayer fungicide often discussed here, for example, has a low acute toxicity as diluted for use, lower than many substances acceptable for organic gardening. So, if you mean "synthetic chemicals," say that.

  • timberling
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Toxicity, it happens, it happened to my brother... he died working (for the government) at the age of 45 --- them spraying for sand ants with MANY different chemicals, many times a day... diazanon, read up on it, its a killer, but didn't they finally have sense enough to take it off of the shelves? or so I thought I heard. People don't realize well enough that these are in fact chemicals, and they are designed to kill. Diazanon was not originally created for grubs. His wife told me that there is (was, its been many years ago now that he died) a website for people who have been chemically poisoned with everyday household chemicals, and by chemicals being used to kill bugs in homes, people who are now hypersensitive, toxic, who don't have regular lives anymore because of chemicals. We take them if we are depressed, we spray them if nature causes some harm to our plants. We are chemical crazed and most don't understand what chemicals are.
    Maybe if you lost a brother to chemicals... not self induced chemicals... a brother who fought against the spraying of DDT in his Florida neighborhood because he knew it was sickening.... someone who had a real zest for life... I only heard about how they try to compress/steam you to try to get the chemicals to release from the pores.
    Its the NOW epidemic ... everyone wants the quick fix. Personally, I think man is a little off his rocker. Man doesn't seem to have timely vision. We want the quick fix, then we cry about the problems that it has caused and we argue about how to fix that, and on and on.
    There are better ways, there are always better ways... it's probably a good thing we only live for about 70-80 years average, otherwise, I can't see how this world would be around as it even is today ... people are inflexible and slow to realize things, when changes have to be made... here we are today, I read, destroying 2 acres of farmland in the USA per minute ... not to mention the Amazon ... wow, it was what, 20 years ago when they made that movie about that little boy... they said at the end that we are destroying 5000 acres a DAY!! over there... we're NUTS.
    But again, we want to hang onto the NOW, the quick fix... instead of having the integrity to look at how it may be affecting others, later, when our roses don't matter anymore.
    Last I heard, there is a bee problem in this country. I like honey.... I think that maybe my great grandkids would like to taste honey, too. I shouldn't be so selfish and self absorbed not to think of that.
    Everyone wants as much as they can get with as little effort as possible.

  • bellarosa
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I refuse to use chemicals in my yard. I have three small dogs and I don't want to hurt them. Yes, my roses will get JBs. I'm not going to win the battle against them. I do go around and try and drown as many as I can in the soapy water, but that's it. The way I see, I have other flowers that they don't touch, so I just tolerate them.

  • iowa_jade
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I wonder what we are going to do in this and other countries when bed bugs get out of control again. Hotels are having a little problem.

    I remember when they used to spray DDT with a fog machine in our trailer park in Florida in the late 40's. Nothing like the feeling of walking barefoot on a layer of dead bugs in the morning.

    Many countries ban the home use of pesticides and fungicides, others encourage their use. I spray, but not very often. It is not from any act of virtue, or moral superiority but sheer lazyness.

    I go through this every year with the JBs. I start out drowning them and after a month or so I get tired of it and break out the Sevin. I spray my garden in thirds and the bugs seem to adapt. Die! Die! Die-is probably not a good mantra! I am thinking about installing miniature punji sticks for the JBs.

    My neighbor said I could not harm the local corn fed doe who is eating our gardens. I would get a paint gun, but there are no local predators for our starving deer population. There only just so many roses and lilies to eat. They do not like to eat Garlic Mustard.

    If I catch the deer in my garden I am going to drown her in my bucket of soapy water. Granted it is only an old ice cream container. It should be interesting. Perhaps DW could sell tickets.

    I feel for the Ag workers who spray chemicals on our food that we eat. Fire ants are not very nice. My Godson's yard is riddled with them. Sorry for your loss. Sorry for our loss.

    It would be nice if we could find a nice organic solution for termites also. Bears like to eat termites.

    Sorry to ramble on. As most people, I have mixed opinions.

    We are a very opinionated and passionate bunch. Most of us enjoy growing roses and make good and bad decisions.

    It is "only" a rose does not play very well here.

    I just thought I would stir things up a bit.

  • anntn6b
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Fire ants.

    But make sure you know the fastest route to a good hospital because a lot of us are allergic to fire ant bites. Finding out that allergy as your trachea swells shut is possible.

    Belongs on a tea-shirt: It is "only" a rose does not play very well here

  • lucretia1
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Have you tried cornmeal for your fireants? My mother said it worked for her.

  • rosesinny
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    serenasyh - why go thru any of that when most of the "organic" remedies don't really work well anyway and when something organic can be as toxic to you as something inorganic? Think about it - you take a rose, which evolved somewhere far from Kansas, and you plant it in an area where it never expected to be, and then wonder why it isn't necessarily happy? Not to mention the fact that much of Kansas is farmland that has been heavily sprayed, fertilized, and treated.

    Here's another approach: Plant roses. See which don't do well or get diseases. Dig those out and compost them or get rid of them. Replace with some other roses and watch those. Do the same thing to any that get diseases. It takes a while but it actually works really well. You end up matching your roses to your environment and don't have to worry about spraying, etc.

    I don't use organic or inorganic sprays for the most part. We do compost everything we can and throw that in the garden, and even compost the rose clippings, etc. As a general rule, I just think that's better. I love the roses but if they don't want to grow for me, I'm not going to force them to, and I'm certainly not going to spray anything that increases any risk to my health by a fraction of a percent. There are enough risks in NYC anyhow!

    But if we had termites, I'd poison them in a heartbeat.

  • serenasyh
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    LOL! what we're talking about is roses, not extremes now. The original intent of my post was to encourage newbies who are just starting out to consider organics as a possiblity. Newbies and those of us who have just 15-25 roses, organics is perfect for us because we have time and energy for the upkeep that organics require. It is a more thoughtful process of research, thinking things through. And even better is when one is able to bring in ladybugs and praying mantis (for those who have larger, open spaces where they can thrive).

    O.k. now I'm going to start on some interesting articles about the organics as "food for thought". The 2nd link is super interesting! it's a pow-wow of new info for me...

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/gate/archive/2000/05/03/green.DTL

    http://www.pesticide.org/factsheets.html#alternatives

    http://www.pallensmith.com/index.php?id=1614

    http://www.organicrosecare.org/articles.php

    I just hope newbies will give organics a chance, that's all. GreenCure and my hot pepper spray are not toxic to me. My hybrid teas are flourishing, they're healthy, and the blooms are still pretty. They're not the tour gardens that DollsandRoses has spent so much time, years of loving care for. She's got a huge beautiful garden and I'm sure the BS is driving her mad with the constant rain. So I would never ever lift a judgmental finger on her for any final decision she makes...

    For simple me, with a teensy garden, all I want is a garden full of bumblebees, a healthy happy dog who can play frisbee in the grass without fear of cancer, and my roses just the way they are! I would be so happy as long as they continue to grow as well as they have. Last year my dog was not healthy for an entire month, diarrhea and runny stools from grubkiller that already had been rained on 2 days before I let her out to play frisbee in the grass for only 5 minutes. So I do think that synthetic pesticides are just plain out bad news for living creatures. Even Wikipedia warns about Sevin, a very! popular pesticide for roses...

    Here is the direct link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevin

    and here is what it says: Carbaryl is a cholinesterase inhibitor and is toxic to humans. It is classified as a likely human carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.)[1] It kills various beneficial insect and crustacean species along with intended pest victims, so care must be taken when spraying where beneficial nontarget species are present. Carbaryl is acutely toxic to honeybees, destroying colonies of bees foraging in an area where the chemical has been applied.

    Michael, thank you for introducing the more accurate term synthetic chemicals... As Michael refers, the premise is that our organic fungicides and organic repellents (planting of herbs, care of the soil) is earth-friendly... The ingredients are easily broken down and are re-absorbed into the natural cycle and into the soil.